Views & Reviews Personal View

What do you do if your bosses are bullies?

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 14 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:a3108

Until recently I had a senior job in health that I was proud of. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they bullied me out of it, because they’d been gunning for me for a couple of years. Also, after seeing several others before me blink off the scene and even out of the organisation, I should have read the omens more intelligently—particularly the dangers of saying “No” or (even worse) “Why?” to those at the top of the organisation when the only permitted response was “Yes.” I wasn’t that good in the job latterly, but you’re never at your best when you’re haemorrhaging from multiple stab wounds in the back and looking constantly over your shoulder to try to dodge the next one. It’s been an eye opening and hide toughening experience, and it is worth passing on some valuable learning points.

You probably think it can’t happen to you. So did I. As a BMJ reader you may find yourself in the firing line, because by all accounts bullying is rife in the health service. Naturally your employer will claim to be totally committed to stamping out bullying throughout …

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